Datuk Chua Jui Meng, who last challenged the MCA presidency three years ago, is making a comeback to active politics and this time will make another attempt to achieve what he failed to do in 2005.
The former health minister today announced his bid for the presidency at the party polls on Oct 18 and this time his opponent to date will be Datuk Ong Tee Keat, the Transport Minister and MCA vice-president, who announced his intention to contest the party top post a month ago.
“With this, I do not mean to disrespect my old friend (Tee Keat) by going to challenge him, but rather I want to see this as a friendly fight, a mission to bring back the party to its past glory,” Dr Chua told a news conference at an upscale hotel here, attended by dozen of supporters.
His last presidential bid was announced at a modest hotel, just across the street from the party headquarters and in that contest he lost to current president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting, who has announced that he will relinquish the post after the polls.
“I’ve deliberated on this matter for a long time and have been getting feedback from the grassroots, and I strongly feel that the only post that I should go for is the presidential post in order to bring about total change and transformation to the party,” said Dr Chua, who wore a grey pin-stripe suit.
Ong, the former Housing and Local Government minister, had said that he was taking responsibility for the party’s poor performance at the March 8 general election and therefore was not seeking a new mandate.